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CPS committee changes debate


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#221 mobile

 
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Posted 06 April 2011 - 16:42 PM

Sundials? I never knew!

One of my dim and distance dreams has been to get the membership database online. It makes sense because then members can log in and edit their own details and for those committee members who need access to the membership can log in to check and all records are instantly updated.

I don't think they have an online membership database either: http://www.sundialsoc.org.uk/ :smile:

#222 pwilson

 
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Posted 06 April 2011 - 16:45 PM

I don't think they have an online membership database either: http://www.sundialsoc.org.uk/ :smile:

I bet they don't have digital watches either. Lol.

Phil

#223 Vic2

 
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Posted 06 April 2011 - 18:50 PM

I might be a big fan of sundials. But I'm not a member of the British Sundial Society, and as a consequence, I tend not to tell them how I think they should organise their voting. If I did, and I kept going on about it, I imagine they'd get a little bit suspicious.

Just saying.

I see no reason why membership of this forum should be a prerequisite of voting, although I do appreciate the offer.

Seems you're attacking the messenger to avoid the message, Darren! :smile:

I've made a positive contribution, and all you can do is help the CPS Secretary to belittle and ignore it.
A quality contribution from the outgoing CPS Internet Officer. :nono:
Perhaps your enthusiasm for mocking me would have been better used keeping the CPS' front page up to date. (E.g. you continued to show the advert for Marcello Catalano's book on the front page - which I put there within minutes of Flick asking me to do so - and you kept it on display for months after the offer expired). Then maybe you wouldn't have felt it necessary to resign because of complaints about the site. :shock:

I have offered a valid and workable solution to the problems seen by Phil W. of CPS voting covering all of the membership.

It doesn't require any server space to be purchased.
(Which Darren won't be able to carry out, now he's resigned of course).

It has the cooperation of CPUK and its resources.

It addresses all the raised concerns required to move full membership voting from a pipe-dream to immediate reality.

The alternative is a open show of hands by 30-odd members at the AGM on Saturday.

I'd like to hear the Society's, the membership's and anyone else's sensible thoughts about my proposal for private voting by the whole of the CPS membership.

I think it'll work, with minimum delay, effort and outlay by the Society, thanks to Andy's kind offer.

Looking forward, etc.

Vic

#224 Guest_dpalmer_*

 
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Posted 06 April 2011 - 19:31 PM

I simply made a point, Vic. Nothing personal.

You, on the other hand, made a deliberate ad hominem attack.

I won't be rising to it again.

#225 mobile

 
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Posted 06 April 2011 - 19:34 PM

Vic, I'm definitely behind private voting. Without a shadow of a doubt I would use an online voting system. As I have mentioned before, it is very difficult for me to attend the AGM, both logistically and financially, but I would still like a say.

#226 Vic2

 
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Posted 06 April 2011 - 22:39 PM

I simply made a point, Vic. Nothing personal.

You, on the other hand, made a deliberate ad hominem attack.

I won't be rising to it again.

Just saying, Darren! :wink:
I simply made a point as well.
Nil ad hominem me quoque :laugh:

I would really like to hear your constructive views on the proposal for online and postal voting.

Vic

Edited by Vic2, 07 April 2011 - 00:50 AM.


#227 Vic2

 
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Posted 06 April 2011 - 22:52 PM

Vic, I'm definitely behind private voting. Without a shadow of a doubt I would use an online voting system. As I have mentioned before, it is very difficult for me to attend the AGM, both logistically and financially, but I would still like a say.

There are more than a few people who want a say, mobile, if my Inbox is anything to judge by :wink:

I hope we'll get a sensible response to the voting proposal from the CPS tomorrow.

Vic

P.S.
Someone has told me that minority elections like the CPS AGM are in fact illegal and non-binding.
Electorally, 30-odd members cannot be taken to represent the views of 400.
I'm looking into it. :laugh:

Edited by Vic2, 06 April 2011 - 23:49 PM.


#228 mobile

 
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Posted 07 April 2011 - 06:23 AM

Someone has told me that minority elections like the CPS AGM are in fact illegal and non-binding.
Electorally, 30-odd members cannot be taken to represent the views of 400.
I'm looking into it. :wink:

I found it a little surprising that <10% of members is considered representative... but I don't know the legality.

#229 ada

 
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Posted 07 April 2011 - 06:24 AM

Does it need a quorum of the membership present to pass anything?legally
ada

#230 pwilson

 
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Posted 07 April 2011 - 08:52 AM

Does it need a quorum of the membership present to pass anything?legally
ada

As I understand it, this sort of thing is defined in the society rules or constitution. We are not an incorporated society so there is no question of illegality. Part of the problem is voter apathy of course and this is again something that we've come up against with the running club that I'm involved with. We are local so definitely no problem with travelling and at the moment we have a rule in our constitution that says that we have to have a quorum of something like 25% of the membership at the AGM - I don't have the details to hand. We have been very close to not getting this and while very obviously some members are going to have other stuff on, kids to look after and so on, you have to assume that there is quite a core of members who just aren't bothered! When the club was small it wasn't so much of a problem. 25% of say a club of 50 members is easy enough to achieve. But now we are close to the 200 member mark 25% is quite a significant figure.

Having a quorum of voters for the CPS is an interesting idea. The problem though is what happens if not enough people bother to vote? You can lead a horse to water etc... I'm all for fairness and being above board but if we didn't get whatever quorum was set then we have to deal with the consequences. Possibly we could put in a safeguard that says that if a quorum isn't reached then the vote is invalid and must be re-run but in the meantime the existing committee continues in its current state. The quorum has to be set at a realistic figure but still reflect a level that is fair.

And once again I have to say that all talk of elections, quorums and so on, are pretty pointless if we don't get people to stand for election. That's surely the real issue here isn't it? Or am I missing something? We have enough problems persuading one person to stand for committee, let alone two or more. Having fair elections may help perhaps though I remain to be convinced. And before I'm accused of writing off anything I'm not. I'm just making a point.

Phil

#231 Vic2

 
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Posted 07 April 2011 - 09:19 AM

Does it need a quorum of the membership present to pass anything?legally
ada


Seems Phil and I were posting at the same time! :wink:

Interesting thoughts, Phil. :yes: Looking forward to hearing your views on the online/postal voting proposal I put forward. Please let me know if it addresses all your concerns. Then democracy can be reality. :yes:

In answer to Ada's question, IMHO Yes. :D

The Society's constitutional Rules state that the CPS is a charity at law, and democratic elections are a key part of its Rules.
The Society is not beyond the law, therefore its elections are open to legal challenge. But I certainly don't think such an approach is necessary!! :laugh:

But you have to define what a quorum is.
Previously, the CPS has interpreted this as a simple majority (over 50%).

The Society Rules are unintentionally biased against the many voters unable to attend the Annual General Meeting. They state that voting must take place at the AGM (or a Special General Meeting). Only those present at the meeting can vote for Rule changes.

But...

The Rules do not state that voters for officers of the Committee (and therefore, associated Trustee positions) have to be physically present at the AGM. See the relevant Rules given below.

The upshot of this?

You can vote online or by post, within the Society Rules.
So long as you do it on or before the AGM and the results are presented at the meeting itself.


You could instead send a letter or email to the General Secretary or the Membership Secretary, but be quick.
(N.B. I wouldn't bother sending to Steve Cottell or Paul McKeown, if I were you:
It is strongly suspected that a number of items of post have gone missing that way.
E.g. the Society's magnum opus, the CPS Guide, circulated for comment and lost without trace or apology, which led to the resignation of Bryan Pinchen from the Committee). :oops:

N.B.2 The AGM can be held as late as the end of May (and sometimes has been!) :dry:

Let's hope that something good comes of this; it all depends on the Trustees and Committee.

Vic

"Rule 12
The Annual General Meeting, notice of which shall be sent to members at least 14 days beforehand, shall be held not later than the month of May, for the following purposes: (a) To receive the Committee’s report and the accounts for the year ended on the 31 March.; (b) To consider any alterations to the rules; © To elect officers for the following year; (d) To consider any other business.
...
Rule 14
Alterations to these Rules shall receive the assent of two-thirds of the Members present and voting at an Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting. The General Secretary of the Society must receive a resolution for the alteration of the rules at least 21 days before the meeting at which the resolution is to be brought forward. At least 14 days notice of such a meeting must be given by the General Secretary to the Membership and must include notice of the alteration proposed. Provided that no alteration to Rules 3 (objects), 15 (dissolution) or this rule, shall take effect until the approval in writing of the Charity Commissioners or other authority having charitable jurisdiction shall be obtained; and no alteration shall be made which would have the effect of causing the Society to cease to be a charity at law."

Edited by Vic2, 07 April 2011 - 09:37 AM.


#232 ada

 
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Posted 07 April 2011 - 16:53 PM

Hi Phil, I wasn't trying to stir up any more ****. I was just remembering from my days as a club secretary.I remember being shot at from all sides,you can't please everybody all of the time and all that.I just wondered how it would go if anybody challenged the vote,but if it says they must be voted for at the AGM in the society's rules,you have to go by the rules.until they are altered?

I totally agree,its all pointless until we get some other peolpe interested in standing for election too.
Now we have started the ball rolling so to speak,this issue of voting,on-line or postally(both)might get someone interested in the positions.
As you said when the society was small and local there were no problems,now though with the internet things can be done much faster saving time and money.Also i think a higher percentage of members will vote this way.
I remember waiting days for your sales lists(the good old days)to come through the post.Even i've got a computer now,so there must be someone out there with better skills and a bit of time to help the society out if we can modernise it a bit.
ada

#233 Vic2

 
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Posted 07 April 2011 - 23:34 PM

Ladies and gentlemen, something really quite important has been brought to my attention.

Please see the Phil Wilson's post #194; relevant extract given at the end of this post.

The CPS General Secretary states that, if you deselect Chairman Steve Cottell and Paul McKeown, your membership fee will go up by £3 per year.

This is shocking electoral blackmail, intended to keep his old mates in power, regardless of the best interests of the Society and its membership.


And it is almost certainly untrue, as I shall demonstrate.

Phil's statement neglects to mention that:

Steve Cottell does not have Committee responsibility for running any show, therefore his deselection as Chairman and Trustee will not affect his ability to contribute to Chelsea and Gardener's World Live. The Chelsea Show Secretary is Paul, and the NEC Show Secretary is Derek Petrie - just see the Committee list. Steve enjoys doing the shows - Dennis inferred as much in his post - and I see no reason why he will stop doing them. Steve just loses the Chairman and Trustee responsibilities he can't be bothered with anyway! :wink:

Paul McKeown can be deselected as Trustee and implicit leader of the CPS without affecting his position as Show Secretary. I believe the only show he organises is the Chelsea Flower Show. According to Tim, he's arranging the plant display at the EEE, which is this year only.

The hardest job in the CPS is not Show Secretary - the shows happen but once a year. And it's clear that Steve and Paul enjoy doing them, as do many others.
The hardest job is Chairman - it's a year-round job. And its long-term neglect cannot have been missed by anyone.

The General Secretary states below that Steve and Paul cannot fulfil their Trustee and leadership responsibilities. Logical for them to stand down for the good of the Society, no?

As for difficulty in replacing Steve and Paul for the shows, allow me to quote from one of Paul's predecessors as Show Secretary, Elaine Goddard, on the CPS website:
"The CPS has exhibited at the Chelsea Flower Show since 1979 ...we have staged an exhibit every year. Since that time, we have won 4 Gold Medals plus many Silver Gilt, Silver & Bronze, but we have maintained a high standard of at least silver for over 15 years."
This demonstrates that the CPS can and has run shows for years without Steve and Paul in charge. And can most likely do so again.

Derek Petrie has been NEC Show Secretary for many years. Not Steve or Paul.

Both Chelsea and NEC are such prestigious and fun events - with free tickets on offer - that I can't see the CPS cancelling its presence at either event, can you?
Heck, if Paul stands down as Show Secretary, I volunteer to organise the Chelsea Flower Show!!
So the CPS already has a volunteer to do the work. I'm sure that CPS members will want to volunteer in my stead! :wink:

The CPS has admitted to vast reserves of members' money, which it is under-utilising.
It would be politically inconceivable to increase membership fees when the CPS already has so much surplus members' money.

To finish, a sobering fact:

In post #194, the General Secretary quotes from the CPS accounts.
It therefore seems likely that the figures were passed to him by Flick Foreman, CPS Treasurer, another long-time pal of Steve and Paul, and member of the Trustees.

Flick has stated that "we currently have four Trustees - a good workable number." In other words, the CPS doesn't need any changes in the Trustees.

As Dennis says here, Trustees are usually assigned (in this case, by the other Trustees) and so unaccountable to the electing membership and the Committee.

I have already shown that the Trustees make decisions and take actions above - and sometimes in secret from - the Committee, in contravention of the Society Rules.

The four CPS Trustees are Steve Cottell, Paul McKeown, Phil Wilson and Flick Foreman. All long-time pals. An old-boy network if you will, unaccountable to the membership and the Committee.

This wouldn't be a problem for the CPS, if Steve and Paul weren't grossly neglecting their Chairman and Trustee responsibilities. Unfortunately, this is not the case. :biggrin:

This post #194 by Phil Wilson, probably produced with Flick Foreman's help, shows that the Trustees will do and say anything to keep their old mates in power with them, even against the best interests of the Society and its membership.
This includes financial blackmail of the electorate.


Rereading this, I'm ashamed to say I was ever part of it, folks. I apologise profusely. :(

Please deselect Steve Cottell and Paul McKeown as Chairman and Trustees, guys.
Break up the Gang of Four, and allow some light and energy into the inner circle of the Society, for the benefit of its members and the plants we love.

Sadly,

Vic


According to accounts we make enough profit from Chelsea to subsidise the membership by approximately £3 so there's one immediate consequence of deselecting Steve and Paul. Gardener's World Live makes a very small profit apparently. To be absolutely frank, show secretary is one of the hardest jobs on the committee so I'm not saying that it would be impossible to replace Steve or Paul (and we will eventually have to of course) but it's not going to be easy and we may have to consider whether the CPS can have a precence at these shows. I'm not trying to sound too negative but just show that there are consequences of deselection.

These are reasons not excuses but I know that Paul has virtually no Internet prescence due to working away and and very often out of the country. Steve has had a number of issues too which I have no intention of elaborating on. Rest assured that he will state his case here when he has the time and stomach for it, though personally I wouldn't want to.

Phil


Edited by Vic2, 08 April 2011 - 00:03 AM.


#234 Andy Collins

 
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Posted 08 April 2011 - 10:03 AM

You just have to have the last say, well not this time. I told you to stop breaking the rules. People like you think they can do and say what they like, well not on here.

#235 Andy Collins

 
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Posted 08 April 2011 - 10:58 AM

This thread will close tomorrow night after the CPS AGM. Anyone please feel free to start other threads to discuss voting, the website etc.

Whoever is voted on the committee that is final. There are to be NO more personal attacks on anyone. If you don't like this then you know what you can do, and that goes to anyone.

Andy